Easy solutions exist to bring campus together: Second Diplomat Papers seek to build campus unity

It would be a failure of these articles if there were no solution provided for the re-establishment of an integrated campus-wide culture. This piece will seek to resolve the previous problems noted in the first Diplomat Paper.

The first goal of the papers, elucidated in number one, was that there be, “reinvigoration of campus-wide programming that fulfills a need in the gaps of campus social life that are left by a focus and onus placed on the House system.” There are a number of ways to go about this. One of the most oblique answers to this is to point to the success of this year’s Springs Arts. This event was above and way much more successful that previous years, it generated tremendous attendance and truly was a successful event. This is not a suggestion that the Office of College programs needs to spend extravagant amounts to bring the campus together.

There are more simple, and less expensive solutions to bringing the campus together. One of the easiest is to make tools, funding, and support more accessible to on campus groups that want to plan events for the whole campus. While technically this is more spending by the Office of College Programs, if larger campus events were spread more evenly across the whole semester presumably it would lead to greater attendance at each as well as over-programming in some parts of the semester, with nothing to do in other parts of the semester.

A second solution is to physically enable groups that want to plan campus events. Whether this is resolving an expedited and conflict-free process for reserving spaces on campus such as Ben’s Underground or Booth Ferris or the saving of the former Gibraltar space as an on campus venue, groups that want to plan events for the whole campus should be enabled, rather than be borne with a quagmire of logistical requirements.

A third solution is to synthesize planning capabilities of advancement and the Office of College programs to revive College traditions that have faded over time. Spring Arts is one of the few vestiges of tradition that is consistent at F&M. Although it may seem like the author is claiming that we should restore traditions for traditions sake, visions of campus tradition going forward should not be constricted or limited to what has previously existed — path dependence should not limit the creativity of future events.

A second goal that was noted in the previous diplomat paper was, “to improve lackluster and divided campus spirit.” Though idealistic and unrealistic, one could claim that all groups should support each other, this is a naïve suggestion. Organizations of all spectrums claim that they feel unsupported by the rest of the campus, each feeling victimized by the lack of supporters at their events and allies willing to support them. At the end of the day, petty divisions between the houses, sports teams, greek members, and club members do more to propagate disunion than bring it together.

Centralization of College social programming is the solution to these problems. It will overcome provincialism, re-create traditions, and hopefully generate school spirit.


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